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May 6th - June 24th, 2022

Clower Galllery

Luminous Thresholds

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The work in “Luminous Thresholds” honors innumerable beings of the natural world who, by virtue of simply living, open doorways for wonder and beauty to unfold.

 

Seeds are integral beings in this work. White’s ideas about them were shaped by an online course taken in the Spring of 2020. Amidst the challenges and uncertainties of the pandemic, the Seed Seva program was a refuge which forever shifted her priorities and practices in working with plants. Developed by author and Indigenous food sovereignty activist, Rowen White, this course is a “holistic, Indigenous permaculture-based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture, from practical hands-on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles rooted in an Indigenous ecology of interconnected relations.”  The author emphasizes ethical dimensions of seed-keeping and encourages honest introspection so we may actively participate in reciprocal cycles of benefit. Cultivating awareness and concern for other forms of life, what she calls reverent curiosity, is a foundational practice from which much of this work originates.

 

“Resting Vessels” is an installation of clay forms, each holding seeds saved from plants grown at home over the past two years. Seeds challenge our conventional notions of birth and death. They exist suspended in a liminal space, containing tiny beginnings of roots, leaves, and a mysterious understanding of how to transition between the darkness of the soil into the resplendence of the above-ground world. White created hand-shaped forms to hold the seeds so they may receive comfort as they patiently wait to come into their own unique fullness. The seeds are here to be shared with anyone committed to caring for them. 

 

Works on paper contemplate specific moments of being deeply moved by our more-than-human world. When we are attentive, other forms of life offer precious gifts: surprise, tenderness, amusement, bewilderment, even sorrow. Without words they affect our hearts by simply being themselves. This invites us to a threshold where our consciousness can be momentarily transformed. The poet and philosopher John O’Donahue describes thresholds as frontiers which divide two different territories, rhythms, and atmospheres. White believes the natural world is enriched with thresholds where the illusion of separateness dissolves to reveal the interconnectedness to which we all belong. 

Cassie Normandy White